Spring is in the air!

 

Spring – it conjures up visions of colourful tulips, buds bursting on branches, the hint of green grass, and warm, sunny days returning.  As we look forward to shedding the winter boots and wool hats,  we should also remind ourselves of potential springtime hazards for our pets.

  • Easter Treats and Decorations Keep chocolate bunnies in check—chocolate goodies are toxic to cats and dogs so if you must have an easter egg hunt using chocolate eggs, be sure to keep pets away – and remember where you hid them!  Kitties love to nibble on the colourful plastic grass that is often used to decorate baskets, and can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting and dehydration. The first signs seen, aside from the material being visible from the mouth or anus, are vomiting or straining to defecate and a painful abdomen.  Trying to pull out visible grass or string is not recommended, as this can cause more damage if the piece is long and trapped far inside the body. Call your veterinarian if you suspect that your cat has sampled the Easter grass.
  • Easter Lily (and related Lily plants): The Easter Lily is common this time of year. This plant, and related plants in the lily family, are highly toxic if ingested.The first signs seen are vomiting and lethargy, and if untreated, may progress to kidney (renal) failure and death. Please call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your cat has eaten any part of a lily plant.  Another spring flower often used in cut flower arrangements, daffodils, are also toxic to cats.
  • Here is a link to other plants which can be toxic to your pet:      http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants/
  • Lawn and Garden:  Use of chemicals on lawns and gardens to control insects and weeds is common for many households. These chemicals are not intended for use on animals, so be sure to allow for proper drying time in the area before releasing pets to roll in, eat, or otherwise have contact with treated areas and plants. Store all containers in safe areas and dispose of empty containers safely.Many fertilizers cause gastrointestinal upset. Some may be combined with pesticides and/or herbicides, which can be harmful or fatal to pets.If at all possible, it is best reduce or eliminate the use of yard chemicals. Check with local pest and garden centers — many now offer non-toxic, organic alternatives for pest and weed control.